PETER SHIRE : “CUPS, 1974 – 2012″

Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Music by James Lucchesi

Peter Shire is recognized for being an innovative and unclassifiable artist. Since the 1970′s Peter Shire has been at an intersection where craft, fine art, architectural and industrial design collide. He is not a “traditional” ceramist and his ceramics push the boundaries and preconceived notions of clay. For nearly four decades Peter Shire has made a collection of teapots, cups and other functional items typically found in domestic settings with atypical designs. The works have challenged ideas of form versus function, and have become sculptural objects occupying domestic settings.

Cups, 1974 – 2012 is a body of work focused on Shire’s interpretation of a commonly used vessel, but are in no shape or form commonplace objects. A few of the works in the show have fragile thin walls that appear as if they could be easily chipped if touched by human lips. Their painterly surfaces and sculptural elements added or removed, give each cup an individual personality and sense of presence. Some of the larger cups have bases, handles and sculptural elements that look like assemblages or collages of ideas sculpted with clay. The cup Peach With Tamago Slice is an example of a cup that has been cleverly and colorfully compiled to create a playful construction whose changing surface and multiple textures propel the eye into multiple moments of discovery. Peter Shire’s work continues to challenge conventional mass produced objects with a keen sense of design and personal touch. He has built his career freely combining architectural concepts, design principles, fine art and craft without letting solemnity overwhelm the seriousness of play.

Peter Shire lives and works in Echo Park, Los Angeles. He is a graduate from the famous Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. He has had over 100 solo exhibitions nationally. His work can be found in over 35 museums world wide, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Israel Museum. He has completed over 25 public art works including the North Hollywood Gateway, The Ahmanson Music Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wilshire and Vermont, and many more.

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